Let's Get Rid of the Idol of "Balance!"

I love the way this window decor looks. It’s calming, orderly, and balanced. It’s the way I wish my life were, more often! Seems I have never reached that magical point where my life is quiet, peaceful, slow, with all the details in my life organized. There are more balls in the air now than when our family was much younger!

I was thinking about this some time ago, as I was whizzing in the car to Kohl's (after all, I had a 30% coupon in my hot little hand) looking for jeans and a couple of things that Joy needed, all the while keeping in mind that she had a meeting I needed to drive her to in an hour.

I also needed to pick up some medication for the sinus infection I’d developed, along with an internal ear infection, and I had an appointment to pray with some friends that afternoon before I picked Joy up once again, so we could go back to Walmart for things she needed to buy.

Afterward I had scheduled a cooking class with Sarah and Joy, and then meeting friends who were flying in from out of town, then back home to finish packing and hopefully catch some sleep before leaving for the airport with Clay and Sarah at 7:30 in the morning.

I thought--my life is not in balance--but I can still walk with God, have joy, enjoy my minutes and the people who are in my life at each moment, and make it through one minute at a time.

My home is not in balance--I know when we are traveling or I am moving back to Colorado from Oxford, obviously my house will be messier than usual and need a good cleaning when I get settled back in. I understand that if I am going to be faithful to schooling and making meals and having quiet times, things will pile up and go by the way side--but I also know I have a plan for getting it all together, eventually.

I liked what a friend said to me, once: "The swinging hand on a clock is only in balance at one point while the fulcrum swings back and forth between the two sides."

And so my life goes--in perfect balance, rarely, once in a while--but always swinging between the two tensions.

My life wasn't in balance when I had 3 children under 5 and I had to nurse them and deal with ear infections and asthma.

My life wasn't in balance very often amidst the 17 moves--6 times internationally--it seemed often I was packing or unpacking, and I still am!

My life wasn't in balance when I had 3 teenagers and an elementary aged child who just wanted to play and read picture books,  while we were staying up late with our teens talking about all sorts of serious issues in life, and then getting up early with my wee, little fun one-with dark circles under my eyes.

And all the while these in my home wanted to eat, (which meant shopping, cooking and an endless stream of dishes) and wear relatively clean clothes, and messes abounded--always cleaning and messing--straightening and cluttering. No balance, but a lot of life and fun and discussions and work and corrections--a stream of life never ending, but flowing to yet another new challenge and season of life.

I think I would have been so much more content and joyful if I had just known at the beginning that life for me would not be balanced--but could always be meaningful--if I would just accept the limitations of each day, each season, each child, my marriage and my finances--none totally balanced or perfect--but all a blessing.

Jesus's life was not balanced, either--he always had people chasing after him and someone was always criticizing him amidst the feeding of 5 thousand, healing lepers and forgiving prostitutes, holding children and blessing them and saying scathing things to the Pharisees.

Paul's life was certainly not balanced or even-keeled--amidst prison, ship wrecks, beatings, and teachings. Peter was traveling, teaching, being persecuted. Yet the disciples had joy, full hearts, love, and time to reach out to and teach others.

If I can just see this day and all that my puzzle brings as God's will, I can be content and joyful in all the unbalanced moments of my days.